The execution was real, but the photo was fake

"Bruno Hauptman was executed 
at 8:47 and a half tonight..."
(click to enlarge)

Richard Hauptmann was 36 years old when he was electrocuted in 1936 for the kidnapping and murder of the young son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Mr. Lindberg was a national hero famous for flying a plane solo across the Atlantic, and Mr. Hauptmann was a German immigrant arrested while the Nazis were rising to power.

Photographers were not allowed within the death chamber, so in order to have a photo of the last moments of Mr. Hauptmann's life, the International News Photos agency staged a scene with actors portraying Mr. Hauptmann and his executioners, and then pasted the heads of real people onto the actor's bodies.

Newsreels: Bruno Hauptmann Found Guilty (1935)


From the video below:
"What was the reaction of the spectators during the execution?"

"Significantly enough, there was no reaction among the spectators, whatever, because the whole thing went off so smoothly. It seemed unreal..."
Hauptmann Execution Announcement & Description


The photo is part of the exhibition Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. [Bruno Richard Hauptmann in Electric Chair] John Wolters  (American, active 1930s), The Metropolitan Museum of Art>>

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